An Actor’s Goodwill


“I am for people. I can’t help it.”

Charlie Chaplin

Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin, born April 16, 1889, was the most famous film star in the world before the end of WWI and one of the most influential personalities of the silent-film era.  Most remember him by his celebrated role as the tramp.   Less well-known were his talents as a film director, writer and composer.  In 1919, he co-founded United Artists along with Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith. His left-wing politics drew the ire and condemnation of Senator McCarthy which brought about his forced relocation to Europe in 1952.

Charlie Chaplin’s goodwill to all came in the form of humour. He used mime, slapstick and visual comedy routines to bring joy and laughter into a world torn apart by war and economic woes.  Hardship and poverty were Charlie Chaplin’s constant companions during childhood.  He said in later years, “I was hardly aware of a crisis because we lived in a continual crisis, and, being a boy, I dismissed our troubles with gracious forgetfulness.”  These words signified his resilience and spirit of determination.  His young journey was not for the fainthearted.

At the tender age of seven, Charlie Chaplin was sent to a workhouse and was housed at the Central London District School for paupers.  When he was nine, his mother, who had developed a psychosis from what appeared to be malnutrition and a syphilis infection, was committed to a mental asylum.  He lived for a time with his alcoholic father, whose abusive behaviour generated a visit from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. And yet through this adversity, he chose to embrace life, to look for ways to bring pleasure in the midst of difficult circumstances.

Charlie Chaplin reached other to others and gave the precious gift of goodwill to all.

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

21 thoughts on “An Actor’s Goodwill

  1. Isn’t it fascinating how some people embrace and learn from their difficult circumstances, while others succumb to them. Beautiful picture as usual by the way, and an usual plant – some form of helibore perrhaps?


    1. I was thinking the same thing! It seems there is are watershed moments, even at an early age, where we make decisions that will influence our later years. As for the plant, I confess I don’t have a clue. I walked through one of those botanical gardens that house plants with unfamiliar names. Recently, I have figured out that I should take a photo of the name tag as well as the plant. I learn as I go along.


      1. Yes, I do that too – I often feel that I am getting funny looks when I take ‘reference’ shots of the info plaques on trees, plants, in galleries or anywhere really!


      2. I know! It’s so much better when one can lighten up. You may have already come across this little poem but I have just been typing an e-mail to my Aunty who is training to be a priest with a quote from Hafiz (I spotted it on the banner of one of the bloggers who follows you – Rarasaur!):
        God and I have become like two giant fat people living in a tiny boat
        We keep bumping into each other and

        That sums up a great attitude to life!! 🙂


      3. I love this poem!! I must have shut down my computer last night before I saw this comment. I agree – that sums up a great attitude to life. You sound like an interesting family – say hello to your Aunty and tell her I am looking for a boat….


  2. Funny looks are o.k. You are being noticed. That is good. Yes, so many great people lived with great hardships-perhaps that is the reason for their unusual contributions. As usual “Charlie” paid a price, like many others, for his stand on what he believed.


    1. I never saw the movie and have now placed it on my “2013 bucket list!! I heard it was amazing – Robert Downey always delivers spectacularly. I have listened to the soundtrack and agree wholeheartedly that is was brilliant. Music adds dynamics and emotional impact. Happy New Year – what an adventure we are on….


  3. That’s a really beautiful image you have on this post! I’m guessing it’s yours as it has your user name on it. Very well framed! And to think when I was at infant school in Britain in the 1970’s teachers were still telling children their green flowers were wrong, that there was no such thing as green flowers. What limited lives and minds they had! And the internet is such an amazing place of discovery!
    Suzy 😀


    1. Thank you so much for your visit!!! Yes, it was my photo. When I was in school, I was told that I could never wear “red” because I had red hair. I could only wear green. Now I wear lots of red. But for a long time, I was limited by other people’s set of rules. I agree – the internet allows us to participate in a global world where knowledge is growing exponentially. Your comments reminded me of a quote by Sir Ken Robinson: “Imagination is the source of every form of human achievement. And it’s the one thing that I believe we are systematically jeopardizing in the way we educate our children and ourselves.” Looking forward to our ongoing dialogue!


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